Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 121

As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 121st day, we take a look at the main developments.

Here are the key events so far on Friday, June 24.

Get the latest updates here.

Fighting

  • Ukrainian troops will “have to be withdrawn” from the mostly Russian-occupied battleground city of Severodonetsk, Luhansk regional governor, Serhiy Haidai, said on Friday.
  • Russian forces have taken the village of Mykolaivka, about 25km (15 miles) south of the key city of Lysychansk, Haidai said.
  • The Russian air force is likely struggling to support its Ukraine offensive with sufficient aircrew, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said, citing recent Ukrainian information about a captured pilot flying a Russian plane who confessed to being a contractor with the Wagner Group, Russian mercenary forces.
  • Authorities in Derhachi, to the northwest of Kharkiv, said heavy Russian shelling had knocked out most of the town’s electrical and natural gas supply.

Diplomacy

  • The European Union has approved Ukraine and Moldova’s applications for candidacy status. Ukraine said it will move quickly to take the necessary steps for accession talks to begin.
  • The United States is sending $450m more in military aid to Ukraine, including another four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
  • The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia is carefully recording the use of each Western-supplied weapon to ensure Ukraine fulfils its promise of not launching an attack into Russia.
  • The EU should stop applying new sanctions on Russia and instead push for a ceasefire and the start of negotiations, a senior aide to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday.

Economy

  • Germany could sustain itself for two and a half months of average winter if its natural gas storage facilities were to be 100 percent full, the head of Germany’s network agency said, adding that Europe’s biggest economy needs additional suppliers and must save gas.
  • The UK is willing to assist with de-mining operations off Ukraine’s southern coast and is considering offering insurance to ships to move millions of tonnes of grain stuck in the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
  • Turkey said it was investigating claims that Ukrainian grain was stolen by Russia and shipped to countries, including Turkey, although no stolen shipments had been found so far. Russia has previously denied allegations of grain theft.
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it would loan Moldova 300 million euros ($316m) to help it withstand energy supply disruptions compounded by Russia’s war in Ukraine.